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LSU's Jarell Martin
Photo by:Steve Franz, LSU Athletics Staff Photographer
Men's Basketball to Host Vanderbilt on Saturday
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Published: January 17, 2014, 09:45 PM (CT)
Updated: January 18, 2014, 05:11 AM (CT)
by Kent Lowe (@LSUkent), Sr. Associate SID

BATON ROUGE – The LSU Tigers look back to get back on the winning track Saturday night when they host Vanderbilt in an 8 p.m. game at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

The game will be broadcast on ESPNU and the radio broadcast will be available on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (Eagle 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge and WWL 870 AM/105.3 FM in New Orleans).

Tickets are available online at LSUtix.net and at the upper concourse ticket windows beginning at 6:30 p.m. LSU students are admitted free of charge with valid ID. The first 2,000 fans will receive mini-replicas of LSU’s basketball court this season featuring the new Tiger logo at center court.

LSU is coming off an 88-74 overtime loss at Ole Miss on Wednesday, while Vanderbilt was a 78-75 winner at home versus Missouri on Thursday night. LSU is 10-5 and Vanderbilt 9-6, while both are at 1-2 in the SEC.

LSU begins a series of four home games in the next five beginning with the Vanderbilt game and will be looking to break a two-game home losing streak. LSU has started Malik Morgan and Anthony Hickey at guards along with Johnny O'Bryant III, Shavon Coleman and Jordan Mickey at forwards in the last two games, but look for Andre Stringer and Jarell Martin to receive plenty of playing time. Stringer came off the bench to hit five treys and a career high 23 points and Martin has scored in double figures each of the last two games.

O’Bryant III is averaging 13.8 points per game, Mickey 13.1 points and Stringer 12.1.

Vanderbilt will be looking for more strong play from Rod Odom who had a career night against Missouri with 24 points, hitting six three-pointers. Kyle Fuller had a season high 22 points. Odom is averaging a team best 13.9 points and 5.7 rebounds.

The Tigers will have a quick turnaround as they will face Missouri on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Tickets are available at LSUtix.net. Follow LSU Basketball on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/LSUBasketball and on Twitter @LSUBasketball.

LSU Head Basketball Coach Jones met with the media on Friday prior to practice and here are some of his comments:

Opening Statement…
“We’re really looking forward to getting back out on the court (Saturday) night at 8 o’clock against a very good Vanderbilt team who came off of a huge win (Thursday) night at home against Missouri. We’re looking forward to it, especially after our game Wednesday night. We had a hard-fought battle at Ole Miss. I thought we had some real positive moments in that game and played extremely hard. Unfortunately, at the end of the day we just could not finish. We got into overtime, and they made some huge plays in the last couple of minutes in regulation. Then, in overtime they made some big plays against us that we weren’t able to recover from. We look forward to getting back on the court on Saturday and hopefully playing a much better 40 minutes.”

On Jordan Mickey and Johnny O'Bryant III being more engaged against a zone defense…
“You just have to make sure that you have more wrinkles. I thought that they were engaged. We just have to do a better job perimeter-wise, making sure that we’re holding the ball a little bit longer and getting them post touches. We didn’t do a great job of positioning ourselves to allow them to finish their cuts to punch the ball in there and to give them chances to make decisions. You want to work the middle of the zone, force the help and then get decisions from there. At the end of the day we still got the shots that we wanted or that we needed. We just weren’t able to execute on enough of them.”

On the lack of rebounding in three of the last four games…
“I just think you get out of position sometimes. If you’re trying to help or sprinting off of screens and they take long shots, then sometimes you’re recovering to areas to get back to the basketball or to the rim area. I’m not sure exactly what the discrepancy was on Saturday in terms of the rebound war, but we are better when we win the rebound war. Usually some great things happen for us (when we win the rebound war), and that’s a stat that we certainly pay close attention to. Unfortunately, in some areas our better rebounders hadn’t been able to get to the glass on a regular basis like they’ve had in the past.”

On Vanderbilt’s 3-point shooting…
“They have the accuracy, much better accuracy than most of the people we’ve played. The three guys on the perimeter can knock down 3-pointers. Nobody in the league has a (Marshall) Henderson, a guy that shoots the type of volumes that he will take, but they are better percentage shooters from there. They are dangerous as well, and you have to make sure that you can get there and cover them. You can’t allow them to have open looks out there.”

On Rod Odom’s play for Vanderbilt…
“With his ability to pick and pop you have to be careful with him. They stagger, use screens, allow him to come off of them, and he’s a very smart player in terms of getting to those open spots. It doesn’t take him long to get his shot off. He shot the ball well last year as well. He has great accuracy out there, and you have to make sure you try to stay connected, close or be there on the catch to try to put pressure on him. You can’t leave him open.”

On Baton Rouge native Damian Jones’ play for Vanderbilt…
“He’s done a tremendous job. He’s every bit of what I thought he could be. He’s long, rangy, an excellent shot-blocker, can finish inside, has a knack for scoring and is certainly a presence inside. He’s just continued to improve, but he was a really good, solid high school basketball player. He hasn’t disappointed at all.”

On Tim Quarterman becoming more consistent…
“I think being a freshman and having a chance or an opportunity to make that adjustment. I thought he made some positive plays on the road at South Carolina. Unfortunately, in the Ole Miss game I thought his eye was scratched late. I thought he made a couple of good plays in the first half. He has to go through it just like any other freshman, and he’s fortunate to have such a seasoned player in front of him in (Anthony) Hickey. There’s not a lot of pressure on him. It allows us to put him in situations where we are hopeful that he will continue to grow.”

On Johnny O'Bryant III getting out of a rebounding slump…
“He needs to just keep working at it and those things will come. I think you have to make an adjustment as teams make adjustments on a player. If you have a reputation of being a great rebounder, then one of the things other teams will want to do is keep you off of the glass. We just have to make more of an assertive effort in going get rebounds out of the area. I think that sometimes we become spectators, especially when you have guys like Jordan Mickey, who’s been a tremendous rebounder for us. Last year I think Johnny was a little bit more aggressive in maybe going get balls out of his area. Jordan has been that same way. Now I guess they may have to start running into each other and not taking for granted that someone else will already be there.”

On being satisfied with the offensive tempo thus far in SEC play…
“No – we certainly like to play a quicker tempo, but when you get into conference play, the thing about it is, there’s a book on you. There’s a scouting report on each team. That’s the beauty of it. You can look around the conference, and you see games that have been played so close and the upsets night in and night out. That’s because everybody knows the make-up of teams and what their strengths and weaknesses are. We certainly fall in that category as well, and that’s how teams play. That will be the difference you will see. Games will be a lot closer and lower scoring depending on the make-up of the teams that you’re playing.”

On the possessions at the end of regulation Wednesday…
“I thought Ole Miss did an excellent job. They came down and slipped a screen to get an easy basket. Then, the next play down their guard comes down and rises up on the elbow to make a big shot. Those are huge shots. I think with a minute to go they knocked down a three. Henderson skipped it to the wing player, and he knocked down a huge three on that possession. I thought Shavon Coleman did an excellent job of closing out on him, so you have to give them more credit for what they were able to execute and what they did. On our end, we got shots. I think one time there was three seconds left on an inbound, and we failed to get a shot off. We didn’t execute that like we needed to.”

On letting a few games slip away at the end…
“I’ve been coaching long enough that I’ve seen us have success in those types of games as well. Games will come down to last-second shots, and you just have to weigh it. We’ve gotten good shots; we’ve had good looks at the basket. Especially the other night, I wouldn’t change it for the world if I had to do it all over again. You’ve got a man-to-man matchup, the floor spread, and we got a great look the other night. It just didn’t go down. Those are some of the things you just have to live with. That’s a part of it.”

On Vanderbilt’s style of play…
“They’ve had great success at Vanderbilt over the years. They’ve certainly been patterned in terms of their offense being a 3-point shooting team, and he’s played to his team’s strength. This team is no different. They are a very good basketball team. They have really good outside players. Their post play with Damian Jones has been really good this year with Damian averaging 10-plus points a game and is really good at rebounding as well.”


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